"Jean was always completely committed to conservation, sharp, enthusiastic, fun, and gracious..."
The Conservancy’s Hawai'i Executive Director
Jean Cornuelle, a former trustee and longtime supporter of The Nature Conservancy, died last night in Honolulu, the Conservancy learned today.
Cornuelle was 90 years old.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of former trustee Jean Cornuelle’s passing,” said Suzanne Case, the Conservancy’s Hawaiʻi executive director. “We all feel a very deep aloha for Jean, and extend that aloha to her whole family in this time.”
Jean’s over 30-year history with The Nature Conservancy dates back to 1980 when her husband, Herb Cornuelle, co-founded the Hawai’i program and recruited its first board chairman, Sam Cooke. At the time, Herb Cornuelle was CEO of the Dillingham Corporation. He later served as chairman of the James Campbell Estate.
Following Herb’s death in 1996, Jean served as a trustee from 1997 to 2007, and then continued to support the Hawai'i program in many ways, including serving as chair of the Legacy Club.
“Jean was always completely committed to conservation, sharp, enthusiastic, fun and gracious – a truly wonderful representative of The Nature Conservancy for all Hawai‘i,” said Case. “Our staff has many fond memories of conservation times with Jean.”
Jean’s interest in conservation started at a young age. In her youth she hiked over the Sierras and at age 10 was a member of the Sierra Club. She was delighted when, in 1980, her husband helped found the Conservancy’s Hawaiʻi program.
As a board member’s spouse, Jean was able to attend the annual board retreats, which, in addition to being “great fun,” helped deepen her love for Hawaii’s natural resources. When Herb passed away, it made sense for Jean to step onto the board to carry on the passion they shared for Hawaii’s environment and for the organization—and she did so for the next 11 years.
“The Conservancy has a long record of accomplishment because they find ways to work with others so that everyone benefits,” she once said. “After all these years, I am glad to be a part of it. My heart is forever with The Nature Conservancy.”